tv Democracy Now LINKTV May 10, 2018 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
05/10/18 05/10/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> do you believe the previous interrogation techniques were immoral? i'm not asking if you believe they were illegal, but immoral. did editor, i believe cia extraordinary work to prevent another attack on this country given the legal tools that we were authorized. amy: cia director nominee gina haspel vows not to restart the
cia's interrogation program, but refuses to describe the cia's -- her role in the cia's torture as immoral. this comes as her confirmation is repeatedly interrupted by anti-torture protesters. is, what doestion you do [indiscernible] you are a torturer1 syria where the israel-iran proxy war is intensifying as israel launches its largest aerial assault today on iranian targets inside syria. >> we have hit all of the infrastructures, not all, but almost all of the iranian infrastructure in syria. they must remember the saying, if it rains here, it will pour over there. i hope that we finish the chapter and that everyone got
the message. amy: we will speak to syria journalist marwan hisham in the award-winning artist molly crabapple about 30 book "brothers of the gun: a memoir of the syrian war." all of that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. israel has bombed dozens inside syria the largest attack by israel since fighting began in syria in 2011. the bombing raid came a day after israel accused iranian forces in syria a firing 20 rockets at israeli forces in the occupied golan heights. israel's military said it hit all of the ran's infrastructure inside of syria overnight, including the munitions storage site at damascus international airport in the district's headquarters of the iranian quds
forces. the bombings lit up the night sky and rattled windows across syria's capital city. monitoring groups say the strikes killed 2fighters, including many iranians and five syrian soldiers. on capitol hill, president trump's nominee to head the cia, gina haspel, repeatedly refused wednesday to call the cia's post-9/11 treatment of prisoners torture and declined to state whether she believes torture is immoral. deputy cia director haspel's comments came in testimony to the senate intelligence committee as she made her case to become cia director. haspel is a 33-year cia veteran who was responsible for running a secret cia black site in thailand in 2002, where at least one prisoner was waterboarded and tortured in other ways during her tenure. haspel also oversaw the destruction of videotapes showing torture at the black site. this is democratic senator kamala harris of california
questioning haspel. >> do you believe in hindsight that those techniques were immoral? >> senator, what i believe sitting here today is i support the higher moral standard we have decided to hold ourselves to. >> will you please answer the question? >> i think of answer the question. >> no, you're not. amy: haspel's hearing was repeatedly interrupted by protesters, including members of the group codepink, who shouted "bloody gina! you are a torturer!" and other slogans, as they were hauled out of the hearing by capitol police. >> you're a torturer ! gina haspel is a torturer. amy: among those arrested was ray mcgovern, a 78-year-old retired cia officer whose arm was reportedly dislocated after
he was thrown to the ground by officers. kentucky republican senator rand paul has said he will vote against haspel, but she appears headed for confirmation after two senators considered swing votes said wednesday they would vote for her. we'll have more on gina haspel after headlines with journalist jeremy scahill. three u.s. citizens who'd been held as prisoners in north korea have been returned to the united states, where they were greeted by president trump early this morning at joint base andrews in maryland. the release of tony kim, kim hak-song, and kim dong-chul came after secretary of state mike pompeo met with north korean leader kim jong-un in pyongyang, and as the u.s. continued to negotiate terms of what would be an unprecedented meeting between kim and president trump. on wednesday, trump told reporters he'd ruled out a meeting at the demilitarized
zone separating the north from south korea, saying he'd announce the time and place of the summit by the end of the week. the announcement leaves singapore as the likely location for the meeting. the white house said wednesday it's preparing to impose new sanctions on iran as early as next week after president trump withdrew the u.s. from the landmark 2015 iran nuclear deal. the move came as president trump warned iran of severe consequences if it restarts its nuclear program. iranian president hassan rouhani said shortly after trump's announcement tuesday that iran may start enriching uranium if the multilateral nuclear agreement collapses completely. on wednesday, saudi arabia's foreign minister adel al-jubeir told cnn his kingdom is prepared to build its own nuclear weapons if iran proceeds toward a warhead. >> we will do whatever it takes to protect our people.
i've made it clear that if iran requires a nuclear capability, we will do everything we can to do the same. amy: meanwhile, hopes are fading for the release of at least five u.s. citizens being held prisoner in iran on what supporters say are trumped-up charges. relatives of the prisoners say president trump's move to withdraw the u.s. from the iran nuclear deal is likely to prompt iran to add to harsh prison terms. this is babak namazi, whose father baquer and brother siamak were given 10-year sentences for "collaborating with a hostile power" -- the united states. >> nothing prepares you for the horror of having to family members taken away from you. the feeling of despond sensing. the feeling of utter confusion of being stuck in a situation r loved ones are in horrible conditions. they had been held in situations which are deplorable. and all of it being so unjust and unexplainable.
"the new york times" reports michael cohen leveraged his access to the president as he solicited donations to a shell company used to pay hush money to stormy daniels, the adult film star who said she had an affair with donald trump in 2006. cohen is the promise of white house access as he brought in a total of $4.4 million in payments to a shell company essential consultants llc from clients and putting at&t, korea aerospace industries, and a comedy control by russian billionaire. cohen also received $1.2 million in the drugmaker novartis for "consulting services." an unnamed novartis employee told the medical news site stat -- "we were trying to find an inroad into the administration. cohen promised access to not just trump, but also the circle around him. it was almost as if we were hiring him as a lobbyist."
novartis acknowledged wednesday company officials were questioned by special counsel robert mueller steam about the payments. refusede, michael cohen to is are questions except to say the document revealed by michael evan nodded, the lawyer for stormy stormy daniels, was inaccurate. >> in response? >> the document is inaccurate. amy: circa be sanders refused to say whether president trump knew about cohen's solicitations. >> as you know, due to the complications of the different components of this investigation, i would refer you to the president outside counsel to address those concerns. >> is the president concern major corporations were giving money to some it is very close to him at a time to have business before the federal government? -- i have ah further president express any concerns. amy: speaking to bloomberg news, trump's lawyer, former new york mayor rudy giuliani, said --
"the president was unaware of this. the president is not involved in any respect." in afghanistan's capital of kabul, isis and taliban fighters are claiming responsibility for a pair of suicide attacks wednesday that killed at least seven people and wounded 17 others. the near-simultaneous attacks appeared to target an afghan intelligence agency near an asian development bank office, as well as a police headquarters. meanwhile, in western afghanistan, taliban gunmen overran a police station wednesday, killing eight officers. that assau came as aearby airstrike killed six polic officers in an attack that local officials blamed on the u.s.-led coalition. in a statement, pentagon spokesperson queioned whether the dead were in fact police and promised an investigation. in nicaragua, tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of the capital managua wednesday, calling for president daniel ortega resign and demanding justice for those
killed by government forces during protests last month against a rollback of social security benefits. human rights groups say at least 40 people were killed in the april uprising. they say police used live rounds on demonstrators. among those killed was journalist angel gahona, who was shot dead as he broadcast coverage of the protests on facebook live. in argentina, protests erupted in the capital buenos aires wednesday after president mauricio macri said his government was prepared to take on loans from the international monetary fund, the imf. argentina is still recovering from a massive economic crisis and default on its debts in 2001, which followed years of neoliberal reforms backed by the world bank and imf. this is roberto baradel, secretary-general of the argentine education workers union. have already lived through
this. we don't want to go back to the international monetary fund. 80% of argentine is opposed to the president's statements and that is what we are getting mobilized. amy: in malaysia, an opposition alliance led by the former authoritarian leader mahathir mohamad has won a parliamentary majority in a stunning upset that will see the ruling bn coalition lose its grip on power for the first time since malaysia's independence from the -- from britain 60 years ago. mohamad is set to be sworn in today as the world's oldest prime minister at 92 years old. back in the united states, vermont independent senator bernie sanders has introduced a .ill it would crack down on employers who punish employees for organizing unions. this is jose ramirez, an illinois truck of who said he was fired from his job at xpo logistics over his union organizing. in october 2016, my coworkers and i decided we needed the voice in our job.
we organized with the help of teamsters union and one hour xpo still refuses to recognize our union and negotiate a contract. now the have fired me to scare and intimidate my coworkers. we play by the rules. xpo didn't. and california is slated to become the first u.s. state requiring solar panels be installed on all new single-family homes. the unanimous move by the california energy commission is expected to raise the cost of mortgages amid a dire housing crisis, but savings from reduced energy use will lower the cost of homes over their lifespans due to lower energy prices. california has set a goal of all homes being zero net energy by 2020. and in a correction to one of yesterday's headlines, a louisiana judge has ruled that one of the permits for the bayou brge pipele is illal, but th ruling s not haed consuction ang the controrsial 16mile pipine. and the are so of the adlines. this idemocracnow!, democracow.org, e war an
peace port. i'amy goodn. ju: and i'm juanonzalez. -- nermeen: and i am nermeen shaikh. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. on capitol hill, president trump's nominee to head the cia, gina haspel, announced she would not restart the cia's interrogation program. but she repeatedly refused to call the cia's post-9/11 treatment of prisoners torture and declined to state whether she believes torture is immoral. haspel's comments came in testimony to the senate intelligence committee as she made her case to become the first woman to head the agency. haspel is a 33-year cia veteran who was responsible for running a secret cia black site in thailand in 2002, where one prisoner was waterboarded and tortured in other ways. haspel also oversaw the destruction of videotapes showing torture at the black site. this is democratic senator kamala harris of california questioning haspel.
>> do you believe that the previous interrogation techniques were immoral? >> senator, i believe that cia -- cers to whom he referred >> it is a yes or no answer. do you believe the previous interrogation techniques were immoral? i'm not asking if you believe they were legal. do you believe they were immoral? >> senator, i believe cia -- >> it is yes or no. >> did extraordinary work given the legal tools we were authorized. >> please answer yes or no. do you believe in hindsight that those techniques work immoral? >> senator, what i believe sitting here today is that i support the higher moral standard we have decided to hold ourselves -- >> can you please answer the question? >> i think of answer the question. >> know, you have not. amy: they were repeatedly interrupted by anti-
tortured protesters. >> bloody gina! bloody gina! you are a torturer! amy: another protester who interrupted haspel's hearing was retired 27-year cia officer ray mcgovern. in dramatic video posted online, police can be seen dragging the 78-year-old mcgovern out of the room, throwing him to the ground and dislocating his arm. >> stop resisting. >> i am not resisting. >> yes, you are. give me your arm. give me your arm. >> it is dislocated, man. my left arm is this -- dislocated, damn it! >> stop fighting. >> i'm not fighting. i am on the ground.
if you let me get my glasses, yo i can see what is happening. i am immobilized. you're going to dislocate my shoulder again. would you pick up my glasses for you step on them? amy: a lawyer who spoke to mcgovern in jail said he was being held overnight and faces arraignment this morning. ray mcgovern, longtime worked for the cia, one of the top referrers for president george h.w. bush years ago. on wednesday night, president trump tweeted -- "gina haspel did a spectacular job today. there is nobody even close to run the cia!" but at least two republican senators have come out against haspel, rand paul and john mccain. mccain said her "role in overseeing the use of torture is disturbing & her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying." but haspel may still be confirmed with the help of
democratic lawkers. democratic senator joe manch of west virginia has already announced he will back haspel. for more, we are joined by jeremy scahill, co-founder of the intercept and host of the weekly podcast "intercepted." he is the author of the books "blackwater: the rise of the world's most powerful mercenary army," and "dirty wars: the world is a battlefield." jeremy, welcome back to democracy now! talk about what happened yesterday and talk about gina record. >> first of all, i think if we looked at the fact we are 17 years removed from 9/11 and we look at how this country has not come to terms with all of the acts of torture, kidnapping, extrajudicial killing that was done with the veneer of legalism put over it by very creative, albeit creativeness would've evil way, lawyers and the bush administration.
what has resulted in not holding those tortures accountable is one of them is now ascended to the highest post in the cia. the cia is generally prohibited from engaging in operations inside of the united states and also prohibited from engaging in propaganda aimed at the american people. and yet to me, this whole gina haspel nomination really seems like a cia operation itself. the cia throughout history from its origins -- and this was the case with its predecessor the oss -- had a mastery of coups and interventions and interfering and affairs of other nations in waging propaganda battle. gina haspel, it was you was nominated for the cia was the recipient of an enormous amount of support from the cia social media accounts, twitter and others.
and it was a propaganda campaign. it was aimed that all of us, the american people. it was aimed at lawmakers, sort ofsts, were they tweeted -- and they did it over and over and even did it once haspel was technically in charge of the cia where they're giving her biography, making her sound like some combination of laura croft tomb raider with jack bauer. it was really kind of incredible. then they selectively, the cia, declassified documents, including one from a hillary clinton supporter mike morel, the former acting director of the cia, that sought to exonerate gina haspel of any wrongdoing in the destruction of the cia tapes, pinning all of the blame on her boss jose rodriguez. the reason i am bringing this up is because gina haspel has been embraced by republican and democratic nominees. everyone from john brennan who was sort of obama's killer
priest -- that was it, oh, john brennan is like priest-like. this man ran and assassination program. michael hayden. i actually respect his honesty because unlike brennan and klapper and others, hayden said, i support torture and torture works and that is part of why i support gina haspel. ahat we saw yesterday was a ci propaganda operation. her answers were carefully prepared the way she refused to answer kamala harris' questions about the immorality of torture. one of the things i found astounding was she said the cia has historically not been in the business of interrogation. what on earth is she talking about? and why wasn't she pressed on that? i believe what she was doing was relying on a technicality which is the cia traditionally outsources those interrogations or they will have people like
those mental health professionals mitchell and jessen who were essentially the ones that came in and said, here is how we can reverse engineer the tactics that we used to train her own personnel to .esist torture or face torture let's reverse engineer that and apply it in an offensive manner against prisoners. farce where was a unfortunately some of the democrats and all of the republicans engaged in a collective endorsement of what is -- in my view, quite clearly a cia propaganda operation. it is a coup of sorts to have someone like gina haspel who has been involved with torture, kidnapping, and refuses to denounce any of it. it is incredible that 17 years obama9/11 -- i'm sorry,
plays eq role in how this happened. the moment obama said we need to look forward and not backward was the moment that gina haspel was able to become a viable candidate for cia. this is a very, very serious development and the result of a probably extralegal propaganda campaign and operation aimed at the domestic american public. nermeen: i want to go back to democratic senator kamala harris of california questioning gina haspel wednesday. >> would you agree that given this appearance of conflict or potential conflict around the classification or declassification of these documents, would you agree director cope should have the responsibility for declassification decisions regarding your background? think one, i important thing is this committee plays a unique role to review the classified record. and we have sent over every piece of paper we can lay our hands on about my classified record.
all of my valuations over a 33 year career. i hope every senator has had the opportunity to look at that classified material. >> indeed, i have. i've another question because i only have a few minutes left, a few seconds left. the president has asserted that torture works. do you agree with that statement? i don't believe that torture works. i believe that in the cia's program -- and i am not a true reading this to enhanced interrogation techniques -- i believe as many directors who have sat in mr. before me that siebel information was obtained from senior al qaeda operatives that allowed us to defend this country and prevent another attack. >> is that a yes? >> no, it is not a yes. we got valuable information from debriefing of al qaeda detainees. i don't think it is noble whether interrogation techniques played a role in that. nermeen: jeremy, if you could
respond to what gina haspel said and also elaborate on what exactly she was responsible for at that cia black site in thailand. >> well, the cia black site in thailand was called cap. haspel -- theyna describe her as a mid-level officer in the cia. let's remember this was the most closely guarded sensitive program of the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and they chose gina haspel to be in charge of one of the main black site that the cia was using when they would either kidnap -- they color rendition. it is kidnap. when they would kidnap individuals, purchased the from warlords, or receive them from allied forces either in the middle east or in afghanistan
and pakistan. and her job was to oversee the interrogation, the briefing as she puts it, of prisoners that were stashed off the battlefield. the rationale was, a, we need to find out who knows what about how 9/11 happened and if we played it and, b, are there more attacks planned? if you remember at that time 17 years ago, there was a lot of concern there was going to be another attack, there was the whole anthrax thing going on. there was real history of. that is the part of it that at yesterday's hearing everyone for the focus on. it was like, r what was going on at the time. haspel was sent there and my understanding is prior to her arriving there, there was some extreme torture used against prisoners. and then during her time there -- with a publicly a knowledged is at least one individual was waterboarded dozens and dozens of times. amy: slammed against a wall.
>> the whole focus has been on waterboarding and gina haspel yesterday said, well, i will follow the u.s. army field manual -- which has been on the books for a long time and remains on the books of what dod personnel are allowed to do during interrogation. and that includes extreme sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, putting people and very confined spaces. boxes,uld put people in the cia would. they sometimes would place inside of those boxes in sex and tell them they were poisonous. they would do walling where they would have a chain on one side of the wall and the prisoners on the other side of the wall and slam itld yank them and into the wall. and then you have waterboarding. the question was, is this a moral? gina haspel kept saying it was legal. there's no record that gina haspel protested, expressed concern -- and there is a record that at other sites, in fact, at that site later, that interrogators did sort of rebel
and say, wait a minute and we really supposed to be doing this? trump became president, i have spent a lot of time over the last year and have studying world war ii in the aftermath of world war ii. everyone has heard of the nuremberg trials where the nazis were put on trial. it was everyone from high-ranking people all the way down to lower ranking people. in fact, very recently in the past years, the israelis and the united states have both tried to apprehend people that were guards at facilities. people that were not even need directly to killing anyone. the number of its will dictated saying just -- saying you're just doing your job is not a defense. and yet that is the primary defense of gina haspel. japanl point on this, in after world war ii, the tribunal was called the tokyo trials. yes they prosecuted very top level people and also prosecuted
japanese soldiers for waterboarding. for waterboarding american pow's. i read the primary testimony of some of those soldiers. ted kennedy in 2006 on the floor of the senate read some of the testimony of american soldiers who had water sprayed up their nostrils, doused on their faces. wereof those people executed. among the charges that were executed for was waterboarding. not solely waterboarding but one of the main charges. others were sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. what is gina haspel's? being ca.nated for >> if one of your operatives work capture, subjected to waterboarding, enhanced interrogation techniques which i believe you supervised, would you consider that to be moral since perhaps the other entity did not have legal restrictions
and good tradecraft, as you -- ared to do when >> senator, i do not believe the terrorists follow any guidelines or civilized norms or the law. cia follows the law. thatu seem to be sayi you were not following civilized norms in the law or anything else when you're conducting those activities will step if that is the analogy you are going to draw. >> i'm sorry, can you -- >> it is very simple. you're an operations officer captured. he is being waterboarded. i have asked recently, would you determine that to be immoral and something that should never be done, condoned in any way shape or form? your response seems to be that civilized nations don't do it, but uncivilized nations do it. or uncivilized groups do it.
a civilized nation was doing it until it was outlined by this congress. does outlined by this congress will so >> i would never obviously support inhumane treatment of any cia officers. amy: and let's turn to republican senator susan collins of maine questioning gina haspel. >> as a candidate, president trump repeatedly expressed his support for waterboarding. in fact, he said we should go beyond waterboarding. valuethe cia has a high terrorism suspect in its custody and the president gave you a thatt order to waterboard suspect, what would you do? , i would advise -- i do not believe the president would ask me to do that.
amy: gina haspel does not believe that the president would ask her to do that. this is donald trump while he was running for president. don't tell me doesn't work. torture works. doesn't work? believe me, it works. and waterboarding, some say it is not torture. let's assume it is. at the aspen the question, what about waterboarding? absolutely fine. we should go much from her the waterboarding. that is what i feel. strongerould go much than waterboarding," president trump says. >> anyone watching or listening right now, when you hear the phrase "speaking truth to power," could you think of? activists,er king, people of conscience. that is the phrase that lawmakers -- the people that introduced her to former cia director say, gina haspel is the person you want speaking truth to power. there is this sort of
#resistance view of gina haspel that exist which is, haspel already knows all of this stuff, she is been at the cia for 30 years, she will be alluded to that dance with trump and stand up to him. no, we are ready know how she views these. there were people who resign. gina haspel followed the orders. so whether it is george bush and dick cheney or donald trump, the track record of gina haspel is that she does what she is told even if it is a heinous act of torture. amy: what about the destruction of the videotapes? >> first of all, gina haspel claims in this hearing there were 92 tapes and that it was 92 tapes of one individual. jason leopold, a buzzfeed news journalist that has done really incredible work with information he and marcy wheeler have tracked this more than anyone else, said it was tapes of two
individuals. gina haspel claims they have these recordings, that there was concern because the program, meaning the extra near rendition program and the black subprogram, has started to seep into the media. it was being reported. havesaid, oh, we cannot these things leaked because it is going to put at risk the agents in the field. haspel and her boss jose thatguez, who openly brags he jumpstarted the torture program is that it worked, etc., haspel was his deputy at the time these tapes were ordered destroyed. haspel had to draft a memo for jose rodriguez. her defenders portray it as if a contradicted a lot of what her defenders said. she said she absolutely
supported destroying the tapes. then she is asked during the hearing -- mind you, this is someone who is up for cia director. she is asked, why didn't you preserve a copy of it in a secure way? that may not have been held securely, why didn't you have -- she says, oh, i'm not a technical person. huh? you are not a technical person and you're going to be director of the cia? nermeen: let's turn to dianne feinstein of california questioning gina haspel. >> were you an advocate for destroying the tapes? >> senator, absolutely was an advocate if we could within and conforming to you u.s. law and if we could get policy concurrent to eliminate the security risk posed to our officers by those tapes. were you aware of what those tapes contain? >> no, never watch the tapes,
but i understood our officers faces were on them and it was very dangerous at a time when there were unauthorized disclosures that were exposing the program. >> but it also exposed how the program was conducted. nermeen: that is gina haspel responding to questions by dianne feinstein. i want to ask jeremy, given what you said earlier about the history of the cia and they're not only participation in programs of torture, but also intervening in other countries, overthrowing very as governments , whether anyone in the cia would not be complicit in what gina haspel has been complicit in or variations of the same. and then, the point that trump made about waterboarding and worse. what about the fact the cia for worse things than waterboarding, principally rendered -- as you say kidnapped -- detainees and sent them to places like syria,
iraq, jordan, etc., were they to the torture would be much more brutal? >> first of all coming yes, there are people who worked in the cia -- a lot of people who worked in the cia that i don't think you could say these people are responsible for torture. but even if we want to look at -- i'll answer that question directly in a moment. even if you want to look at grades of involvement, gina haspel as at the top. she was one of the people who was running one of the early sites for the u.s. was doing this. it is clear -- the fact she refuses to call it immoral or to say the tactics the senators were specifically citing was torture. she kept saying, we got his label information. it is a mystery. i don't know. cia is divided into two big cams. the analytical side of the operation -- the analytical side and the operation site. the analytical is the dick cheney side of it, those who are conducting the operations that gina haspel was involved with.
then you have people on the analytical side. those are the people the neocons said was like a liberal think tank. they would've in the people that were pushing back internally for the information put in front of colin powell when he went to the united nations to sell the iraq war for the bush administration. ray mcgovern, who was dragged out of the hearing and had his arm dislocated. honest 80man was years old. ray mcgovern came out of the analytical division of the cia. glenn crow, another person also a cia interrogator. he was on the operations side, was against torture and spoke out against torture. mean to be don't heaping praise on the cia but to directly answer your question, of course. there were people who were seriously protesting, including people who were in the same gina haspel after saying, no, this is not right. amy: what is a critical question
he felt was not asked? >> i think the democrats should have refused to dissipate anymore until gina haspel answered the question about is waterboarding torture and not get into some legalistic thing of what john yoo, a man who'd just about all manner of torture would say anything short of lling them is not torture. amy: jay bybee, federal judge. >> exactly right. taylor also had a lot of lawyers that could make things legal. to notcomparing the u.s. to germany. no, they're doing it by using the very excuse that were criminals the world over attempt to use. i think they should have pushed it on do you think testing your job is an excuse, your conscience plays no role in this? have you ever heard of a conscientious objection? i think john mccain, the man was tortured and understands this issue and has made the point
that the united states prosecuted japanese war criminals for doing the same things. his point was good. it is totally disqualifying, no matter what you think, not to was a moral. amy: and chic is to classify or declassify the documents. she is acting director of the. >> cia. >> she is. this is all they talked about yesterday for the most part. marco rubio and others, "we love the ca and you're so great." they did not talk about other issues. the haspel talking about relations of never been closer. to me the elephant in the room of all of this was the cia and u.s. military's darkest elements, they are in a golden era right now. trump is an ideal person for them. establishment neocons hate the man, but they love what is going on right now most of and forcefully, they're in an alliance increasingly with liberals. amy: jeremy scahill, thanks for being with us, host of the weekly podcast "intercepted."
author of the books "blackwater: the rise of the world's most powerful mercenary army" and "dirty wars: the world is a battlefield." when we come back, we will talk about a new book that is out, syriansut one experience of the syrian war, brothers of the gun, a memoir of the syrian war. we will be joined by molly crabapple. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
tonight they will be performing at joe's pub here in new york to release their second album "rivers of the north and south." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: we turn now to syria where israel has bombed dozens of iranian targets inside the country in the largest attack by israel since fighting began in syria in 2011. the bombing raid came a day after israel accused iranian forces in syria of firing 20 rockets at israeli forces in the occupied golan heights. israeli defense minister avigdor lieberman described israel's military assault. >> we have hit all of the infrastructures, not all, but almost all of the iranian infrastructure in syria. they must remember the saying, if it rains or come it will pore over there. i hope that we finished this chapter that everyone got the message. nermeen: the proxy war between
israel and iran in syria has been escalating for months. many analysts had predicted the fighting would increase following president trump's decision to pull out of the iran nuclear agreement. soon after president trump made his announcement on tuesday, israel put its troops on high alert and called up reservists. israel was a leading critic of the iran nuclear deal. the fighting between israel and iran is just one of several proxy wars now being fought inside syria. amy: well, today we spend the rest of the hour looking at the fighting in syria with a syrian journalist and a new york artist who have worked together for years. marwan hisham is a syrian journalist from raqqa now living in exile in turkey. he became a journalist after first taking part in the initial protests against bashar al-assad in 2011. his new book is illustrated and co-authored by the award winning artist molly crabapple. they first start collaborating in 2014 when hisham was still living in isis-occupied raqqa.
their book is titled "brothers of the gun: a memoir of the syrian war" and is out next week. we welcome you both to democracy now! thank you for joining us from turkey. can you start off by going back you011 and explaining how and why you got involved with your friends, with the syrian revolution against al-assad, the uprising and what happened next? so when the arab spring began in late 2010, it's bird people, especially young people, all over the air world. was one fight against the arab dictators. functioninge a democracy in the air world, so
and then there is the feeling of the relation between people in this defender countries. so people got inspired by that and when the first opportunity to participate in the movement and the protest against the assad regime, people like us started to try to organize, join any protest, any sign of basically resistance against the regime. things started to change rapidly, especially when the regime started to crack down on resistors. those same people started to take on in it became this bloody struggle we're seeing now. nermeen: marwan hisham, you dedicate the book to the two
brothers who were your friends with whom you started to dissipate in the uprising. could you explain what happened, what decisions they took and you took once, she said, the opposition became militarized following assad's brutal response to the uprising? so we took it from different perspectives. i mean, i could never imagine myself taking government fighting. the early experience for me was a military camp we were taken to the university. not basicallyd to inticipate, especially
shooting. -- you takeved arms. convinced it was the only way to reach any kind of solution, basically to fight the regime. in his opinion, the regime was so brutal and there was no way basically to get through but through power. brother tarik was in hisly more like me way of thinking. he went to beirut to continue his studies. later,n a few months nial was still fighting at an
army base near raqqa. -- two monthsik after he took out revenge more than anything, basically. he did not sit for long waiting for the armed group. the first available for him that sounded better than the others he joined and started fighting. nermeen: molly crabapple, you worked with marwan hisham on this remarkable, extremely "brothers of the gun: memoirs of the stern wore." we started on the book, you are in new york city and marwan was in raqqa.
can you talk about how you got in touch and how you collaborated? >> take you so much for the kind words on our work. we have been collaborating for four years now. around 2013, started covering the syrian war and the syrian refugee crisis. i got familiar with the group of people on twitter, some were syrians, some were syrian refugees, some were analyst, some were journalists that would all talk about the war. marwan was a member of this group. originally got to know him because he was a source. it was started studying arabic -- he started teaching me arabic. we became quite close friends. thatirst collaboration was marwan semi-photos taken at huge risk to himself. -- sent me photos taken at a huge risk to himself.
he was a death penalty offense. he sent me these photos and i drew from them. this point, who at was writing political essays just for himself, provided captions for the photos. from there we realized we really liked working with each other and we wanted to create images others that were not lexically saving force in the media. in the media, the only images you had of those cities was either isis propaganda or else just the typical images of bombed out buildings, of torture. the horrors that people sometimes reduced the entire middle east to. marwan and me wanted to show with daily life was like. we did collaborations from raqqa held usedand rebel aleppo. we became very close and got the idea to do a book together. amy: the book is "brothers of the gun: a memoir of the syrian war."
we're going to break for 30 seconds and talk to marwan about this bravery of taking his cell phone around when everyone knew he could not even use it. there was not wi-fi or any way he could actually be using his phone, so of course he was using it to take photographs. and where he stands on -- i mean, opposition to isis , regime, what this means for a syrian and an out of syria. marwan hisham and molly crabapple are our guest, their book is "brothers of the gun." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. guests are the authors of a new book that is just coming out. marwan hisham and molly crabapple "brothers of the gun: , a memoir of the syrian war." nermeen: marwan hisham, i want to ask you, as amy and molly both pointed out, you took in the enormous risk to your life by taking these photographs. could you talk about what it is you wanted to convey about what life was like under isis-occupied raqqa and also your work there? you are effectively helping to run an internet cafe in raqqa
where isis militants were in fact were principal customers. yes, so basically i wanted to certain scenes. when molly offered me this opportunity, i saw the perfect access.ity and i had not everyone can basically do that. gap, whenave this journalists come to a cap occupied by jihadi groups and a local as me had this opportunity, yeah, i would not waste it. basically, i wanted to describe and depict life under isis in a
way that is different as well it's adjusted we do that -- molly suggested we do that. it was risky, yes, but every day was risk. amy: molly, you are an artist. your cover artwork for "brothers of the gun," explain it to us and talk about a little more of the making of the images as you relied on marwan's photographs, how the rest of the media to fix what is going on there and you district that was a remarkable artistry. >> thank you. initially, it was based on his surreptitious photos. but through most of the book, the images are not actually based on photos. instead, they are almost montages from hundreds of sources from citizen video
online, from blurry photos, sometimes even from photos i shot. but most important, from marwan's memory. for images like the scenes that we did a protests, i would speak with marwan and he would describe it exactly. even send me sketches or oppose and tell me the exact things he would remember and i would draw them over and over again to try to make sure they were true and try to make sure they were real. i was trying as closely as i could to see through his eyes. the cover image, that actually is based on a self-portrait that was shot by tarek. nermeen: could you explain what it is on the cover? >> is a portrait of tarek playing his gun as if it were a violin. he was studying poetry in beirut before he joined and wrote poetry throughout the war, even as he was becoming essentially an assassin.
in that image, it reminded me of someone who is in this world that was immersed and death and he was still holding on to this one bit of beauty. amy: marwan, before we go, the description of raqqa today, the city you have lived in for some many years, the destruction of raqqa, more than 11,000 buildings destroyed, not clear how many people were killed, in this last-minute we have together? yes, so raqqa is devastated. it is in a tragic state. now enjoyeople stability, but still they are struggling for basic services. there is still electricity, no tankers.ept through
the connection is weak, but most importantly, there is no serious effort from the anti-isis coalition to rebuild the city. now havehe states piles of rubble. if t coalition, the united states and their allies, do not put in an effort to rebuild the destroyed, we're going to risk a situation when isis will come back again. isis prey on situations like despair.people's planafraid if there is no for what is next, we won't have stability for long.